With decades of research to draw from Philip Jowett explores this extraordinary David-and-Goliath conflict, where the rag-tag Igbo tribal army of secessionist Biafra faced off against the Nigerian Federal forces. It was an African war that captured the attention of the western media, with individual commanders such as Biafran leader Colonel Ojukwu and Federal Colonel Adekunle becoming familiar figures across the globe. The Nigerian forces easily outnumbered their opponents and benefitted from British and Soviet equipment, yet against all the odds the Biafrans held out for two and a half years, inflicting many setbacks on the Federal forces before their eventual surrender in 1970. Specially commissioned artwork and historical photos, including some from respected Italian war photographer Romano Ganoni, reflect the diverse array of uniforms and equipment on both sides, with images ranging from Sandhurst-educated officers in immaculate uniform to ragged militiamen armed with World War II kit.
Read an extract of Modern African Wars (5)
Table of Contents
Introduction – Nigeria from independence to the eve of civil war /Chronology /The Federal Nigerian Army – organization and character /The Biafran Army – organization and character /The mercenaries – Rolf Steiner and 4th Commando Brigade /The Nigerian and Biafran navies and air forces – MiGs and Ilyushins vs. Count von Rosen's Swedish Minicons /Weapons /Uniforms /Plate Commentaries